Urban Pond: King Cup

Spring has definitely arrived around the Urban Pond. Clumps of dazzling Marsh Marigold reflect the ever brighter sunlight.

“Marsh Marigold, Caltha plustris (VN: King Cup, Mayflower or May-blobs; Mollyblobs or Pollyblobs; Horse blob, Water blog or Water bubbles; Gollins or the Publican). This is one of the most ancient native plants, probably surviving the glaciations and flourishing after the last retreat of the ice, in a landscape inundated by glacial melt waters.” pg40 of Flora Britannica by Richard Mabey
They’re thriving around the Urban Pond. Fascinatingly they’ve not been planted, but have arrived this year, traveling from heavens-knows-where, across the city to this tiny oasis. Or have they lain dormant in the ground for decades until the moment was right to reappear? On earlier maps this area was called Marsh Croft perhaps descriptive of the kind of environemnt in which the Marsh Marigold would have thrived?
The English name Marigold refers to its use in church festivals in the Middle Ages, as one of the flowers devoted to the Virgin Mary. It was also used on May Day festivals, being strewn before cottage doors and made into garlands. They were hung upside down in doorways in May to ward off witches and also used as a protection against lightening.


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